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Blinken tells Lavrov US needs ‘verifiable, credible’ de-escalation with Ukraine

A serviceman runs during joint exercises of the armed forces of Russia and Belarus as part of a military exercise at the Gozhsky firing range in the Grodno region, on February 12, 2022, against the backdrop of tensions between the West and Russia over neighboring Ukraine. (Leonid Shcheglov/Belta/AFP)
A serviceman runs during joint exercises of the armed forces of Russia and Belarus as part of a military exercise at the Gozhsky firing range in the Grodno region, on February 12, 2022, against the backdrop of tensions between the West and Russia over neighboring Ukraine. (Leonid Shcheglov/Belta/AFP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tells Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Washington wants to see a verifiable pullback of Russian forces along Ukraine’s border, in order to allow a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

In a phone call between the two, Blinken “emphasized the need to see verifiable, credible, meaningful de-escalation,” the State Department says.

“While further Russian aggression against Ukraine would result in a swift, severe, and united Transatlantic response, we remain committed to the diplomatic path and believe that a window remains to resolve the crisis peacefully,” Blinken tells Lavrov, according to the statement.

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